HOUSTON — Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley is expressing frustration with the setback in his return from surgery on his right shoulder.
The five-time All-Star is out indefinitely for the defending World Series champions.
“As a competitor, you want to be out there with your team,” Brantley said. “I love these guys. I love this organization. No one is more disappointed than myself. But at the same time, I’ll continue to put in the work, keep my head down and be the best teammate I can and work as hard as I can.”
Brantley has yet to play in the majors this season. He appeared to be close to returning, but manager Dusty Baker said Friday that Brantley will be shut down “for a while.” An MRI revealed inflammation in his surgically repaired shoulder.
“Very frustrating. You rehab all offseason, put in the work every single day and do everything the right way and sometimes it just doesn’t work out to your favor,” Brantley said. “But at the same time, I won’t stop. I’ll keep my head down, continue to keep working and be out there as soon as I can with these guys.”
Brantley said he experienced a similar situation after shoulder surgery in 2016 while he was with Cleveland.
“Shoulder surgeries are tricky,” he said. “I understand that, but at the same time, I’m trying to stay as positive as I can and the whole goal is to be out there with my team, but I have to be healthy. It’s very important to recover every day to be out there with those guys but also be healthy as well.”
Brantley is with the Astros as they conclude a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. He said he hopes to continue to travel with the team.
Brantley said the first step to a return is removing the inflammation. He hit .288 with five home runs and 26 RBIs in 64 games with Houston last season. He said he was “trying to push through a few things” during his recent rehab assignment with Triple-A Sugar Land when he went 6 for 24 in nine games.
“I’m not going to go out there if I can hurt my team in any way,” he said.